Do you have a weekly exercise routine and are trying to eat healthy? Have you noticed there are many obstacles in the way? The key to obtaining a healthy lifestyle is to find ways around or remove said obstacles.

One of the aspects of our lifestyle that can really impact our goal attainment is drinking alcohol, and the chain of events that can sometimes occur when drinking alcohol.

What Happens? 
That chain of events may include starting with intending to only drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages. That can sometimes lead to socializing and mindless overconsumption of more alcohol, more drinking to stay social if we are wanting to have fun, let loose, or to deal with increased anxiety in social settings, and possibly then mindlessly over-eating on foods that may not be the healthiest options. We’ve all been there.

Impact on Body Composition 
Alcohol tends to be a source of empty calories, and as mentioned, people don’t always stop at drinking 1-2 alcoholic beverages. This will lead to consuming excess calories, which, in any form – food or alcohol – leads the body to store extra fat and gain weight, often in terms of excess belly fat, or the dreaded “beer belly.”

Impact on Exercise 
A study from Barnes, Mundel, and Stannard (2010) suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol may impair normal muscle recovery after strenuous exercise. If exercise and performance are goals for you, drinking alcohol in excess could contribute to injury and impact your attainment.

Healthier Alternatives: 


  1. I always say what I’m opposed to is the habit of ‘a daily drink’. Make sure you are choosing when to enjoy a drink… not having one just because it’s ‘what you do’ at the end of your day. Try to have as many days in a row as you can without alcohol, to allow your body to process and burn fat as it wants to instead of being interrupted by the need to burn off your daily glass of wine first. Replace that habit with a new, healthier one.
  2. Go into a social event with a plan. If you know that you have to get up early the next day or have an exercise planned, reminding yourself of your goals may impact your decision to drink in excess.
  3. If you know you are going to drink alcohol, similar to the idea of taking time to really enjoy and savor the taste of your food, pick an alcoholic beverage that you truly like. Pick 1 drink, and sip it slowly, being mindful of the taste and flavor, and pay attention to the social setting that you are in, enjoying the environment you are in, and people you are with.

  4. Make it a goal to have 1 glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed.

Better Options:

  1. Vodka/tequila seltzer with lemon or lime

  2. Bloody Mary

  3. One glass of red wine

  4. Scotch on the rocks

Non-alcoholic beverage ideas:

  1. Virgin Bloody Mary – just omit the vodka

  2. Instead of a Margarita, try sugar-free lemonade with a salt rim and a wedge of lime.

  3. A dressed-up tonic water – go wild and add a sliced cucumber.

  4. Flavored sparkling water- spice it up with added fruit, herbs, or a little fruit juice.

Be well!

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